Amway, Fuller Brush, Avon, Encyclopedia Brittanica—all were the door-to-door salespeople of my youth. None was more feared than the vacuum cleaner salesman, who would literally stick his foot in your door, rush in, and cheerfully dump dirt on your carpet. I truly thought they were a thing of the past.
Imagine my surprise and horror yesterday when an 18 year old kid walked out of my house with my old vacuum cleaner and $2,000. I’ve been sitting in my closet, lovingly stroking the shiny chrome exterior of my new 2.5 horsepower, self-propelled Kirby. As I’m thinking of all the cat hair that I’ll suck up off my comforter, and the kitty litter that will no longer by ground into my carpet, I realize that I own one very expensive cat.
It all happened in a blur. One moment, I’m opening my door and trying to hold back the dog, and the next, a skinny kid is power walking past me and 115 pounds of slavering Doberman, making a beeline for my high traffic area. Had my dog only put up a token show of barking and foaming at the mouth? Did the guy have a death wish? This ballsyness, more than anything else made him the sale.
Now the very expensive cat is out of the bag. The truth is that my dog only looks scary. As soon as the young man cleared the threshold, Colt was in the throes of apoplexy with the joy of having company. The salesman bent down to look thoughtfully at my carpet, and didn’t even flinch when the dog bounded over to give him face kisses.
He was out the door before I could form a reasonable objection, and back a moment later with his supervisor and two large boxes. He pulled out my dirty old vacuum to compare it with the shiny new Kirby. As he fired mine up, the house was filled with the high pitched keening of dying squirrels, and the smell of old socks about to spontaneously combust. When he started up the Kirby, there was no sound of small animals dying a horrible death. He proceeded to fill up filter after filter with gunk from my newly steam-cleaned carpet. Even my husband, who is very tight with a penny was impressed. He didn’t offer much resistance when he saw that I wanted the machine. He put up more of a fuss over buying the engagement ring that I wanted. I guess he was tired of old sock smell.
Maybe now my rug will get the self-propelled attention that it so richly deserves. If nothing else, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I should have an easier time saying no to the Encyclopedia Brittanica salesman.